Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer, and the third most prevalent cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Voluminous evidence has demonstrated that phytochemicals play a critical role in the prevention and management of gastric cancer. Most epidemiological investigations indicate that the increased intake of phytochemicals could reduce the risk of gastric cancer. Experimental studies have elucidated the mechanisms of action, including inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis and autophagy, and suppressing angiogenesis as well as cancer cell metastasis. These mechanisms have also been related to the inhibition of Helicobacter pylori
and the modulation of gut microbiota. In addition, the intake of phytochemicals could enhance the efficacy of anticancer chemotherapeutics. Moreover, clinical studies have illustrated that phytochemicals have the potential for the prevention and the management of gastric cancer in humans. To provide an updated understanding of relationships between phytochemicals and gastric cancer, this review summarizes the effects of phytochemicals on gastric cancer, highlighting the underlying mechanisms. This review could be helpful for guiding the public in preventing gastric cancer through phytochemicals, as well as in developing functional food and drugs for the prevention and treatment of gastric cancer.
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